Recoleta Cemetery App – A Review
One of my favourite Buenos Aires websites is Robert Wright’s AfterLife, an almost impossibly well-researched directory of Recoleta Cemetery and its defunct inhabitants. With nearly 450 posts detailing the highs and lows of Argentina’s finest I’ve spent many an evening lost in stories of life, success, tragedy & death (bet you’re jealous of my exciting life!).
I don’t cover Recoleta on my daily tour, but I’ve been many times, on my own and with visitors. I’ve never been on a tour there either, as it has always struck me that simply wandering around discovering new corners and art is half the fun of visiting – if visiting a cemetery can be considered fun, that is.
Before leaving the house I fired up my newly purchased app and was met with a very elegant and minimal menu page which fits nicely with the look and feel of the Endless Mile site. In the Orientation section there are several options including some basic facts, history and an overview of the symbolism which can be found on many of the tombs.
Whilst this section is full of vital and useful information, the main feature of the app, and the one I really wanted to put to the test was the walking route. On entering the route section you are presented with a very clear map of the cemetery, with a dotted path showing you a suggested route along with 25 numbered points of interest. Clicking on each number brings up a photo of the tomb in question, and another quick click on the “i” icon switches to the text, explaining who is buried here.
If it stopped there it would be a useful and interesting companion to a visit, but where this app really comes into its own is in the details it provides for each of the 25 main points. Each one is chock-full of history, dates, scandals (the husband and wife with their backs to each other for eternity), rumours (just how did Evita’s brother die?) and legend (the coffin buried upright behind a hidden wall) along with information about the artist and any decorative quirks.I spent a good couple of hours following the route and learning more about the fascinating history behind the mausoleums. The app also encourages you to explore on your own which is very easy to do, but I would always return to the route for all the extra information. The convenience of being able to be your own guide at your own speed and having the information literally at your fingertips whilst standing in front the tomb is a massive plus.
Overall the quality of the information, along with the slick look and feel of the app itself make this a must buy if you want to get the best out of the most fascinating places in Buenos Aires.
- Great historical and artistic background
- Visually very clear, map section very easy to follow
- Self-guiding, move around at your own speed
- The 25 points of interest are full of fascinating information
- Good value for money compared to a traditional tour
And for the Cons, can’t actually think of any – highly recommended!